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Gaines awarded court grant for $16,100

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 9 January 2016 at 12:00 am

Town Hall will be open on Saturdays beginning in May, closed on Wednesdays except for court

Photo by Tom Rivers – Richard DeCarlo, a former Gaines town supervisor, returned to the Town Board this year after being elected town councilman. He took the oath of office on Tuesday as town councilman.

(CORRECTION: The current hours for the Town Hall are Mondays through Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Fridays from 8 a.m. to noon. An earlier version of this story said the current hours were 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. from Monday through Friday. The new hours beginning May 1 will be 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. The building will be closed on Wednesday except for town court, beinning in May. There will also be Saturday hours from 9 a.m. to noon.)

GAINES – The Town of Gaines has been approved for a $16,100 state grant for its court system. The funding through the Justice Court Assistance Program will be used for equipment and other resources for the town court, Town Supervisor Carol Culhane said.

The town sought the maximum $30,000 grant, and received more than half that. It didn’t receive funds for security improvements, Culhane said.

The Town Board is taking steps to improve the safety of the building and court employees. The town hired the Wendel firm to prepare cost estimates for renovations to the courtroom and Town Hall.

Court meets on Wednesdays at 3 p.m. and Culhane and board members said court is an “uncomfortable situation” for other town employees in the building.

“The chaos on Wednesday is something to behold,” she said. “We’ve had an outcry from the public.”

Board members debated this week whether the Town Hall should be closed on Wednesdays, except for court. That would ease some of the parking issues for employees and residents using the building for non-court issues.

The town will have town clerk hours on Saturday mornings. Board members wanted to make the change right away this month, but decided to wait until May 1 because tax bills that were just sent listed town clerk hours for the five weekdays.

The board decided to wait until May 1, after tax season, to implement new hours for the town clerk, including 9 a.m. to noon on Saturdays. The town clerk will have hours from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays beginning in May with no hours on Wednesdays.

Culhane said Gaines will join three other towns in the county with Saturday hours: Carlton, Clarendon and Murray.

The Town Board made a series of appointments for 2016, including:

Andrew Meier as town attorney to be paid $7,800 for the year;
Culhane as budget officer for $2,000;
Lynne Johnson as bookkepper (no salary listed);
Town Clerk Jean Klatt as official registrar for $932, and water collection clerk for $6,309;
Highway Superintendent Ron Mannella will also serve as water superintendent for $18,294 for the year;
Marilynn Miller was appointed to a five-year term to the Zoning Board, where members are paid $25 per meeting;
Michael Grabowski was appointed to a three-year term as town representative to the Orleans County Planning Board and will receive $25 a meeting;
First Niagara as official depository;
The Daily News of Batavia as official newspaper for carrying public notices.